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Stamps commemorating the journey of Indian women

On the occasion of International Women's Day, let us salute to famous Indian women who proved to the world that Indian women too are much progressed and have showcased their talents at the world level and have excelled in their chosen field. Their great achievements and unique things they did in their life have became inspirational to the women folk of India.

Department of Posts has honoured contemporary women personalities of India by issuing commemorative stamps in their honour.

Here I present a list of women personalities who have established themselves as role models for Indian womanhood and have been commemorated on postage stamps of India. This list also includes Stamps issued on theme related to girl child or woman and foreign Women personalities who contributed to various fields in India and have been commemorated on Indian Postage Stamps.

Name of Personality
Date of Issue of Stamp
Stamp Images
(Mira Bai)
a Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Krishna. She was one of the most significant Sants ("true" or "saints") of the Vaishnava bhakti movement. Some 1,300 pads (poems) commonly known as bhajans (sacred songs) are attributed to her.
Rani Lakshmi Bai
An expert in warfare, fought against the British.
[Centenary of India’s 1st War of Independence-(1857-1957)]
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Madam Bhikaiji Cama
A Parsi, known as Mother of Indian Revolution, took an active role in Freedom Struggle. She unfurled Indian National Flag with Vande Mataram in Germany for the 1st time in a foreign soil.
Madam Bhikaiji Cama
Ramabai Ranade (1862-1924)
Married Madhav Govind Ranade, a Social Reformer, who gave her Education. She worked for Women`s cause, founded Seva Sadan. She was a volunteer visitor to central prison, lunatic asylum of Yerawada & met Women prisoners.
Ramabai Ranade
Dr (Mrs.) Annie Besant (1847-1933)
Irish by birth English by manner & Indian by adoption, she came to India in 1893, worked for Education, Socialism, Trade Unionism, Rights off Working Women. Founded India Home Rule League-1916. Cover shows-Theosophical Building, Madras
Dr(Mrs.)Annie Besant
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt
15th Anniversary of the Universal of Human Rights.
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt
Sarojini Naidu
Known as Nightingale of India (as her lyrics had a quality of Bird song) a great Poet & good orator.
Sarojini Naidu
Kasturba Gandhi (1869-1944) She stood by her husband Mahatma Gandhi through out.
Kasturba Gandhi
Rural Woman Tea plucking-Rural Female Workforce in Agriculture, Industries is 90% of total Female labor. In Farming around 60%, 1991 World Bank reports that Women accounted 94% of total employees in Dairy production in India. 51% of total work in Forest based Small Scale Industries. Mahila Lijjat another example. Urban Female workforce-30% in Software.
15.08.1965 (4th Definitive Series)
Rural Woman
Sister Nivedita
Inspired by Swami Vivekananda, came to India, adopted Indian custom, worked for women`s Education
Rural Woman
Marie Curie
Great Scientist, discovered Radium & Radioactivity ,got Noble Prize twice
Marie Curie
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) International Education Year-1970.Non-Violence towards the child is the basis & the path of Education as a help to life.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Kamala Nehru
She married J.L.Nehru and was a moral support to him. Inspired by Gandhiji she took an active role in Freedom Struggle. Cover depicts Kamala Nehru Hospital inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on 28.2.1941.
Kamala Nehru
International Women’s Year UN General assembly. Theme: Equality, Development & Peace
International Women’s Year
Ahilya Bai Holker (1725-1795) A good ruler & Administrator, developed Textile Industry in Maheshwar
Ahilya Bai Holker
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
UP-an aggressive Hindi Poetess with patriotic fire of Joan of Arc & lyricism of Meera. Married Thakur Laxman Singh, joined vNon-Cooperation Movement. She was the 1st Woman Satyagrahi to be arrested.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
Education for Women SNDT Women University, Bombay. Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve started it in 1916, later funded & expanded in1920 by Sir Vithaldas Thackersey, in the memory of his mother, then the University came to be known as Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Indian Women's University.
SNDT Women University
Mother, Child and Parenting 15th International Congress of Pediatrics
15th International Congress of Pediatrics
The Mother
Spiritually inclined, she worked with Sri Aurobindo in 1904 at Auroville, Pondicherry.
The Mother
Hill Woman,
Modern Indian Painting
Painting by Amrita Sher Gill (1913-1941)
Hill Woman
Welthy Housinger Fisher
(Melodious Opera Singer, came to India met Gandhi & Tagore, started Adult Education in Rural India & built Saksharata Niketan.
Welthy Housinger Fisher
Helen Keller
Helen Keller was deaf, blind, mute, wrote autobiography-The Story of my life, contributed immensely to the society through her lectures, books
Helen Keller
Mother Teresa
Came to India in 1929 as a Teacher, founded Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in 1950, and dedicated her life to serve Leprosy patients, orphans, elderly & handicapped with Love. She was the 1st Indian Woman to get Noble Peace Prize.
Mother Teresa
Woman in Field of Rubber Tapping Rubber Tapping Industry
(6th Definitive Series)
Woman in Field of Rubber Tapping
Woman in Dairy and Farming Milk and Dairy Industry
(6th Definitive Series)
Woman in Dairy and Farming
Meera Behn, (Madeleine Slade)
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, she dedicated her life to India`s Freedom Struggle.
Meera Behn
Begum Hazrat Mahal Wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow, fought with the British & died in Nepal-1879
Begum Hazrat Mahal
Indira Gandhi
She joined Freedom Struggle at an early age, became PM in 1966 & 1980. Let us not shed Blood, let us shed Hatred.
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Crusader for World Peace
Indira Gandhi
Nellie Sen Gupta (1886-1973) Married Jatindra Mohan Sen Gupta in 1909 came to Chittagong joined Freedom Struggle & died in Calcutta.
Nellie Sen Gupta
Indira Gandhi
In the Service of the Nation
Indira Gandhi
Computer Education for Girl Children's Day
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee
Widely travelled & led a Spiritual life
Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee
Rukmini Devi
Influenced by Theosophical Society & Russian Ballerina-Anna Pavlova she learnt Bharatanatyam & established Kalakshetra in 1936, had multifaceted contributions earned many awards.
Rukmini Devi
Rani Avanti Bai (Avanti Bai Lodhi) Fought the British in 1857 & became a martyr in 1858.
Rani Avanti Bai
Rani Lakshmi Bai (1828-1858) An expert warrior, First War of Independence
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Rani Durgavati A warrior from Chandela dynasty, propagated development, Education, fought Mughals & became a martyr in Jabalpur
Rani Durgavati
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur (1889-1964) 1st Woman to hold Cabinet post of Minister of Health from 1947 to 1957.She was the founder member of All India Women`s Conference. She launched AIIMS, New Delhi. She also encouraged Sports.
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
Pandita Ramabai (1858-1920) Sanskrit Scholar, knew 7 languages, rebelled caste system, worked for Women`s Education, built Sharada Sadan in 1889
Pandita Ramabai
Playful Girl - Care for The Girl Child SAARC Year of the Girl Child
Playful Girl
Mahadevi Verma (1907-1987) Contributed to Hindi Literature, one of the founders off women`s Education in UP& voiced her concerns for Women.
Mahadevi Verma
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya (1903-1988) A Social Reformer, Great Freedom Fighter, worked for upliftment of Women & Cooperative Movement & established Crafts Council.
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya (1903-1988) A Social Reformer, Great Freedom Fighter, worked for upliftment of Women & Cooperative Movement & established Crafts Council.
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya
Sisters of Jesus & Mary
150th Anniversary of Arrival in India
Sisters of Jesus & Mary
Nargis Dutt (Fatima Rashid)
Known as Lady in White & for her film Mother India, was an actress par excellence. Formed formed the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe. She started a Spastic Society in 1972. A Cancer Hospital has been built in her name.
Nargis Dutt
Rani Rashmoni (1793-1861) Fought the British & did lot of philanthropic activities.
Rani Rashmoni
Kasturba Gandhi
Tribute to Kasturba
Sister Alphonsa (1910-1946) 1st Woman Saint from India.
Sister Alphonsa
Ahilyabai Holkar (1725-1795) Ruled her state, developed Textile Industry at Maheswar, built Temples/Ghats.
Ahilyabai Holkar
Rani Gaidinliu
Inspired by Gandhiji ,a Freedom fighter, Political Leader, Social Reformer & the the only Woman Freedom Fighter to spend 15yrs in British Jails & was awarded Tamrapatra & Padmabhushan
Rani Gaidinliu
Girl Child Education SAARC 10th Anniversary
>Girl Child Education
Thirumathi Rukmini Lakshmipathi
A freedom fighter worked for women`s cause & Education
Thirumath Rukmini Lakshmipathi
Rural Indian Women Woman of Arunachal Pradesh
Rural Indian Women
Rural Indian Women Woman of Gujarat
Rural Indian Women
Rural Indian Women Woman of Ladakh
Rural Indian Women
Rural Indian Women Woman of Kerala
Rural Indian Women
Savitribai Phule (1831-1897) Fought for women`s Rights, Education, Widow Remarriage, removal of Untouchability
Savitribai Phule
Aruna Asaf Ali
A Great Freedom Fighter
Aruna Asaf Ali
Indian Women in Aviation Woman Pilots
Indian Women in Aviation
Education for Girls Bethune Collegiate School, Calcutta. 1st recognized Government Institution for the Education of Girls in Bengal, founded by John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune in 1849-made Asoka tree as a symbol of Female Education in India.1st Lady Doctor of Bengal Kadambini Ganguly, 1st Lady Graduate Chandramukhi Bose are from this college.
Bethune Collegiate School
Mother of Shivaji, symbol of Motherhood& inspired Shivaji to fight his rivals.
Arati Gupta Saha (1940-1994) 1st Woman in Asia to swim The English Channel in 1959 covering 42miles in 16hrs 20minutes.A Pioneer in Aquatics, she started swimming at the age of 4years.
Arati Gupta Saha
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990) Younger sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Woman President of UN General assembly (1953-54) took active role in freedom struggle.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Jhalkari Bai Fought the British in 1857, she is alive in the folklore of Bundelkhand (Jhansi)
Jhalkari Bai
Rani Avanti Bai Queen of Ramgarh, fought against British in 1857& became a martyr on 20.3.1858.
Rani Avanti Bai
Vijaya Raje Scindia (1919-2001) Worked for social/political causes/ upliftment of Women, weaker sections & for Education.
Vijaya Raje Scindia
Chandraprabha Saikiani
Social Reformer. Fought for Women's cause & their Education. Known for her Poetry & Novels.
Chandraprabha Saikiani
Kanika Bandopadhyay (1924-2000) Exponent of Rabindra Sangeet & Classical Music learnt under Rabindranath Tagore at Shyamala, Shantiniketan. A great Singer, Teacher, Writer, Social Worker and Artist. She worked for AIR.
Kanika Bandopadhyay
Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar (Matangini Hazra)
A great Freedom Fighter & became a Martyr.
Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar
Mukta Bai
Poet Saint, conveyed spiritual message to common people through universal love. Abhang was her meter.
Mukta Bai
Allah Jilai Bai
Born in a family of Musicians, she sang in the court of Maharaja Ganga Singh .At 8yrs of age, learnt Dadra, Thumri & Dance under Ustad Husain Baksh.
Allah Jilai Bai
Neerja Bhanot
Awarded Asoka Chakra for Bravery. She fought hijackers & laid down her life. She is the only Indian to have conferred with heroism Award of The Flight Safety Foundation.
Neerja Bhanot
Dr. T. S. Soundram (1904-1984) Joined Quit India Movement & setting up Gandhigram, she built Sowbhagya Illam & Sevikashrams in villages. A Pioneer of Women`s early campaigners for liberating Women from Illiteracy, Social Injustice & Inequality.
Dr. T. S. Soundram
Woman and new born child Newborn Health in India
Woman and new born child
M. S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004) Her guru was her mother Mrs. Shanmukhavadivu, an eminent Veena Artist. She started singing at the age of 13yrs, learnt Carnatic Vocal & performed in AIR. She was the Cultural Ambassador of India. Nehru named her as Queen of Songs.
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Girl’s School Indraprastha Girl’s School, 1st Girls School in Delhi inspired by Dr Annie Besant
Indraprastha Girl’s School
Women’s Day International Women`s Day is celebrated globally for the glory of Women`s Economic, Political &Social achievement. Right to Equality & Non-discrimination are justifiable fundamental rights under Indian Constitution. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (October 2005) is the 1st of its kind.
Mother India (Movie) Mehboob Khan who made women oriented epic films like Mother India, remake of film Aurat & a tribute to Indian Womanhood
Mother India
(Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi)
Known as Venus of Indian Cinema, had a mass magnetic appeal. She started acting at 9yrs of age, noted by Devika Rani Roerich & named her Madhubala. She married Kishore Kumar in 1960.
Violet Alva
1st woman Lawyer to appear in front of Bombay High court to defend her husband. Journalist, Freedom Fighter
Violet Alva
Indira Gandhi Builder of Modern India
(10th Definitive Series)
Indira Gandhi
Thillaiyadi Valliyammai
Inspired by Gandhiji she active role in the Freedom Struggle
Thillaiyadi Valliyammai
Rani Velu Nachchiyar (1750-1796) Knew 6 languages, well versed in literature & Warfare, fought British with valour.
Rani Velu Nachchiyar
Girl Child National Girl Child Day
Girl Child
Mother Teresa
Builder of Modern India
(10th Definitive Series)
Mother Teresa
Dr. Dineshnandini Dalmia
Firebrand Author & Poet, 1st Indian Woman to write confessional Poetry & 1st Woman Post-Graduate of Rajasthan. She rebelled Purdah System & fought Gender bias.
Dr. Dineshnandini Dalmia
Jeanne Jugan
(Sister Mary of the Cross)
Also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, L.S.P., was a French woman who became known for the dedication of her life to the neediest of the elderly poor.
Jeanne Jugan
Lady Doctors and Nurses Contribution in Healthcare Field, Apollo Hospitals
Lady Doctors and Nurses
Kranti Trivedi
Wrote in Hindi on Women issues, wrote books & manuscripts
Kranti Trivedi
Thanjavuru Balasaraswathi (1918-1984) Born in a family of Musicians. Awarded Sangeet Natak academy, Padma Bhushan & Sangeet Kalanidhi.
Thanjavuru Balasaraswathi
Veenai Dhanammal (1867-1938) Born in a family of Musicians & Dancers,learnt Veena & Vocal,Padas,Jhavalis were her forte, career spanned over 60 years
Veenai Dhanammal
Woman Dancers Woman Dancers performing Kalbelia Dance
Women Dancers
Mary Ward
Roman Catholic Nun from Yorkshire. worked for Women`s Education, came to India in 1842-Loreto Institutions
Mary Ward
Kanan Devi (1916-1992) Legendary Heroine and Singer(Bengali Style). Indian actress and singer. She was among the early singing stars of Indian cinema, and is credited popularly as the first star of Bengali cinema. Wrote autobiography Sabare ami nomi(1973)
Kanan Devi
Meena Kumari (Mahjabeen Bano) (1932-1972) Legendary Heroine and poet. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema. Born in Bombay, married Kamal Amrohi wrote Urdu poetry under pen name- Naaz, some of them were compiled by Gulzar.
Meena Kumari
Nutan Samarth Bahl (1936-1991) Legendary Heroine. Better known as Nutan, was an Indian actress. She appeared in more than 70 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades.
Leela Naidu (1940-2009) Legendary Heroine who starred in a small number of Hindi and English films, including Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, based on the real-life Nanavati case, and The Householder, Merchant Ivory Productions' first film. Born in Bombay, Femina Miss India-1954, featured in Vogue as top 10 most beautiful women in world.
Leela Naidu
Savitri (1933-1981) Kommareddy Savitri an Indian film actress, director and producer. She appeared in Telugu as well as Tamil, Kannada and Hindi language films. In 1960, she received the Rashtrapati Award for her performance in the Telugu film Chivaraku Migiledi.
Devika Rani (1908-1994) Devika Rani Chaudhuri, usually known as Devika Rani, was an actress in Indian films who was active during the 1930s and 1940s. Widely acknowledged as the first lady of Indian cinema, Devika Rani had a successful film career that spanned 10 years. Grand niece of Rabindranath Tagore, studied Arts at Royal Academy of Music, London, held a degree in Architecture, married Himansu Rai in 1929. After death of Rai in 1940,she married Russian Painter Svetoslav Roerich.
Devika Rani
Subhadra Joshi (1919-2003) Active during freedom struggle, inspired by Gandhiji, was a Parliamentarian for 4 terms, pioneered various schemes for poor & women upliftment, Delhi Mahila Samaj Trust to help destitute. Herr stress was on Communal Harmony & National Integration.
Subhadra Joshi
Umrao Kunwarji - Archana
Propagated Jainism. Wrote books, built Hospitals, Library & Welfare centers.
Umrao Kunwarji
Woman in Healtcare. The Trained Nurses Association of India. (1908-2011) Hundred years of caring.
Woman in Healtcare
Education for Woman Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow. Founded by Ms. Isabella Thoburn, American Missionary to serve women in India, in 1870. It inculcates 10 characteristics: Health, Honesty, Dependability, Scholarliness, Broadmindedness, courtesy, Poise, Loyalty, Spirituality & Service.
Education for Woman
Geeta Dutt
Prominent singer in India, born in Faridpur before the Partition of India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema. She also sang many modern Bengali songs..
Geeta Dutt
Ruby Myers (Sulochana)
An Indian silent film star of Jewish ancestry, hailing from the community of Baghdadi Jews
Ruby Myers
Durga Khote
An Indian actress, starting as one of the foremost leading ladies of her times, she remained active in Hindi and Marathi cinema, as well as theatre, for over 50 years, starring in around 200 films and numerous theatre productions.
Durga Khote
(Paluvayi Bhanumathi Ramakrishna)
A multilingual Indian film actress, director, music director, singer, producer, book writer and songs writer. Most of her works are in Telugu and Tamil languages.
(Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh) (1929-2004)
A singer and actress in Indian films in the 40s and 50s.
Smita Patil
An Indian actress of film, television and theatre. Regarded among the finest stage and film actresses of her times, Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi and Marathi films in a career that spanned just over a decade.
Smita Patil
Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009) She was initiated into Music by her mother Ambabai an eminent Carnatic Singer &sang welcome song at age of 11yrs in the Congress Session in front of Gandhi, Nehru,Sarojini Naidu & Abdul Kalam Azad. She was awarded Tansen Award,Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan.
Gangubai Hangal
D. Krishnaswamy Pattammal (1919-2009) Started learning Music at the age of 4 & was the 1st Brahmin Woman to sing on stage. She entered the male domain by singing Ragam-Talam-Pallavi. She was the 1st Carnatic Singer & the only one to have given concerts for 75 yrs. She was awarded Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship, Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan.
D. Krishnaswamy Pattammal
Kasturba 100 Years of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba's Return from South Africa to India
Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child A Government of India scheme that aims to generate awareness and improving the efficiency of welfare services meant for women
Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child

On the International Women’s Day let us support the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (Save girl child, educate girl child) initiative of Government of India to generate awareness and improving the efficiency of welfare services meant for women.

Let us work together
- To prevent gender based sex selective elimination.
- To ensure survival & protection of the Girl Child.
- To ensure education of the Girl Child.
- To improve the Nutrition Status of Girl Child.
- To promote a protective environment for Girl Child.

Compilation by Dr. Sumitra, Bangalore | Text and images by: Prashant Pandya, Vadodara

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